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World’s smallest wine vintage since 1961 may spell good news for Aussie producers

The world may produce the least wine this year in half a century after small grape harvests in Italy, France and Spain, a global wine organisation said, forecasting higher prices for bulk and entry-level wine. That could spell good news for Australian producers, which had a solid year.

The global 2017 vintage is estimated to slump 8.2 per cent — equivalent to about 3 billion fewer bottles — to 246.7 million hectolitres, the Paris-based International Organisation of Vine and Wine said. That would be the lowest since 1961, according to Jean-Marie Aurand, the intergovernmental group’s director-general.

“Logic dictates that for entry-level wine, there will be a bit more tension on prices,” Aurand told reporters in Paris. “We’re past the time where we had structural overproduction of wine; the market is more balanced.”

The group, known by its French acronym OIV, puts the value of the global wine industry at about €75 billion ($112 billion). Countries with large grape harvests, such as Australia and South Africa, will probably be more active in the wine trade this season, Aurand said.

World wine consumption in 2017 is expected to be around 243.2 million hectolitres, according to the OIV. The forecast excludes wine used annually for distilling into spirits, making vinegar and industrial purposes. Production in recent years means there are sufficient stocks to avert shortages of wine and alcohol, Aurand said.

Italy alone accounts for half of the drop in global wine volume, with the country’s 2017 vintage predicted to slump 23 per cent, according to the OIV. French output may fall 19 per cent, and Spanish production is expected to drop 15 per cent. Germany also recorded a bad harvest.

“The main reason is the freeze that affected the vineyards of western Europe,” Aurand said. “Add to that the rather dry summer, and you have the two main reasons for the decline.”

US wine production may slip 1 per cent, according to an OIV estimate based on US Department of Agriculture data. The effect of the wildfires in California is expected to be “very limited,” with most of the grape harvest already in the cellars, Aurand said.

Volumes in Australia, the world’s fifth-biggest wine producer, are seen 6 per cent higher at 13.9 million hectolitres, while Argentina’s production may rebound 25 per cent, based on the OIV’s estimates.

Bloomberg

October 25th, 2017
Topic: Grape vines, STATISTICS, WORLD SUPPLIES Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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